The good news is that Nepal is one step away from playing in the 2019 ICC World Cup Cricket in Wales and England, after finishing runners up behind the United Arab Emirates in the ICC World League Championship Division Two qualifiers in Namibia.
The United Arab Emirates narrowly avenged their earlier defeat with a seven run victory over Nepal to win the final.
Hoisting the trophy would have been a fitting finish for Nepal. Never mind, we should all take heart from the fact that they did their very best and earned a ticket to Zimbabwe. The result is a big accomplishment in itself.
Kudos to the entire team. They fought their way back from the brink to a second place finish. It was the result of tireless efforts of players and individual brilliance.We are absolutely thrilled with the outcome,and we could not have asked for more.
Upcoming leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane capped a brilliant performance, earning a feather in his cap by winning player of the series. He ended the competition with 17 wickets. While skipper Paras Khadka with 241 runs topped the batting chart.
Besides, Sompal Kami, Basanta Regmi and Karan KC put up a good performance,making significant contributions.
Come March, Nepal is in for a bigger challenge in Zimbabwe. They have another chance to prove themselves yet again.
It would be fair and pertinent to devote a few words to the last two matches,particularly the match against Canada,
Going back to the championship match, despite chasing down a big total(277), Khadka almost guided his team to another spectacular win but in the end came up just shy.
Khadka’s brilliant unbeaten 112, his third career century,was the cornerstone of his side’s batting. There were handy contributions from the middle order batsmen, but it was not enough to overhaul the United Arab Emirates’ target.
Team Nepal’s passage to Zimbabwe for the final round of World Cup qualifiers hinged on the outcome of the match against Canada. They had to win to remain in contention for one of the spots.
It was a tension-filled, nerve tingling encounter laced with high dramas and uncertainties. Nepal crawled back to ascendancy from a position of desperateness and hopelessness to complete an improbable victory.
The savior for Nepal came out of the blue and from a very unlikely quarter. Right-hand fast bowler Karan KC become the toast of the town for his humongous accomplishment .
Withstanding unprecedented pressure,the youngster displayed rare batting skills, when it mattered most, playing a spectacular innings and steering his team to a remarkable and famous win that will be long remembered.
His unbeaten knock can be best described as gutsy, ruthless and belligerent. With the ninth wicket down and the team on the brink of defeat, it was left to the two tail-enders, KC and Lamichhane,to save the match.
Canada’s bowlers were on fire,and the only question left on everyone’s mind was,how long they would last ? Defeat seemed inevitable.
No one in their wildest imagination thought and believed the two young Turks could pull their side out of the woods and pull off the win.
At the end of the day,they proved to all doubters they are wrong. They not only defied the odds but batted aggressively,like never seen before, with most runs coming off KC’s bat. They shared a match winning 51 run partnership to complete a historic one wicket victory.
The one big positive to take from the competition is the bowlers’ sharp performance,however, there is room for improvement, and they must take their game up a notch.On the other hand,the batting depth still remains a big,big concern for Team Nepal. As a matter of fact,we need more than just bits and pieces batsmen.
Once again, the failure of frontline batsmen has unmasked and exposed Nepal’s batting weakness. In a nutshell, no matter what, the batting has to improve by leaps and bounds. And the team only, can legitimately emerge as a serious contender in world cricket.